Earthquakes Defined

In my Oakland condo
daughter plays oblivious
to a slight tremor
asking her if she felt it
she didn’t
I tell her we need
to stand in the arch
of the door between
the bedroom and living
room area for safety
just in case a more
powerful quake arrives

Daughter is curious
on what causes earth
to shake, I explain as best
tectonic plates shifting
its lost on my 5-year-old
she dismisses a father’s
explanation, to replace it
with one of her own
telling me, maybe
earthquakes happen
because Wakan Tanka
(Great Spirit)
stubbed his big toe

Luke Warm Water’s poetry appears in Shedding Skins: Four Sioux Poets (Michigan State University Press, 2008). He was a featured poet at the prestigious Geraldine R. Dodge 12th Biennial Poetry Festival and was the first spoken-word poet to receive an Archibald Bush Foundation individual artist fellowship in literature. Although retired from competition, Luke has won Poetry Slams from California to Germany. His latest book City Tree of Concrete & Hope (2014) received an Artists Embassy International literary award. Luke currently resides in Oakland, California.

You can see another of his poems here in 2.4.